“Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future, especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels. We do them no favor when we don’t show them where the trends are going.” But the President missed, or chose not to recognize, another trend – the world is not decreasing its use of oil and gas; it is increasing it. That information was highlighted a couple of weeks later when the ExxonMobil analysis was released.
Just 10 days after "Moody's Put Over Half A Trillion Dollars In Energy Debt On Downgrade Review", moments ago S&P decided it wanted to be first out of the gate with a wholesale downgarde of the US energy companies, and announced that it was taking rating actions on 20 investment-grade companies, including 10 downgrades as follows: Chevron Corp.; EOG Resources; Apache Corp; Devon Energy Corp; Hess Corp; Marathon Oil Corp; Murphy Oil Corp; Continental Resources; Hunt Oil; Southwestern Energy.
Today’s plunging oil prices will benefit a few. Motorists, once again, will be happy; but the pain will be earth-shaking for many others. Never mind the inevitable turmoil in global financial markets or the collapse of shale-oil production in the United States and what it implies for energy independence. The real risk lies in countries that are heavily dependent on oil. As in the old Soviet Union, the prospects for social disintegration are huge. Europe is already struggling to accommodate refugees from the Middle East and Africa, imagine what would happen if they imploded and their disenfranchised, angry, and impoverished residents all started moving north.
It didn't take much to fizzle Friday's Japan NIRP-driven euphoria, when first ugly Chinese manufacturing (and service) PMI data reminded the world just what the bull in the China shop is leading to a 1.8% Shanghai drop on the first day of February. Then it was about oil once more when Goldman itself said not to expect any crude production cuts in the near future. Finally throw in some very cautious words by the sellside what Japan's act of NIRP desperation means, and it becomes clear why stocks on both sides of the pond are down, why crude is not far behind, and why gold continues to rise.
Without energy, the U.S. economy would grind to a halt. All the trillions of Dollars in financial assets mean nothing without oil, natural gas or coal. Energy drives the economy and finance steers it; and the financial industry is driving us over the cliff. The U.S. Empire is in serious trouble as the collapse of its domestic shale gas production has begun.
It is safe to say that nobody expected the BOJ stunner announced last night, when Kuroda announced that Japan would become the latest country to unleash negative interest rates, for one simple reason: Kuroda himself said Japan would not adopt negative rates just one week ago! However, a few BIS conference calls since then clearly changed the Japanese central banker's mind and as we wrote, and as those who are just waking up are shocked to learn, negative rates are now a reality in Japan. The immediate reaction was to send the USDJPY surging by nearly 200 pips, back to levels seen... well, about a month ago.
Supermajors Shell and Italian Eni could be facing the loss of one of the biggest offshore oil exploration blocks in Nigeria, putting an estimated 9 billion barrels of crude oil at risk.
- Unease over Fed rate path dents European stocks (Reuters)
- Global Stocks Pressured After Fed Statement (WSJ)
- Japan's Economy Minister Amari to Resign Over Graft Scandal (BBG)
- Authorities working to clear remaining protesters in Oregon occupation (Reuters)
- China Sharpens Efforts to Halt Money Outflow (WSJ)
- Eurozone January Economic Sentiment Falls Sharply, Hits 5-Mth Low (MNI)
Some things to ignore; some things not to ignore. The inevitable will occur. Supply and demand will cross. The question is will Wall Street notice? Some of the analysts caught the cross in early 2014 but most didn’t.
As we said two days ago when looking at the paltry recoveries on their total debt that bankrupt energy debtors are generating in liquidation and bankruptcy asset sales, "the energy bankruptcy party is only just starting." And sure enough, overnight we learned that another company is preparing to throw in the towel following a Reuters report that SandRidge Energy - a shale oil and gas producer in the Mid-Continent region of the U.S. - is exploring debt restructuring options, "as the heavily indebted U.S. oil and gas exploration and production company struggles with the fallout from plunging energy prices."
After the biggest two-day surge in oil in seven years, early in the overnight session both Brent and WTI continued their run for a third day, entering a bull market, 20% up from recent lows hit just last week (still 15% down on the year) when Saudi Arabia spoiled the momentum party after the world’s biggest crude exporter said it’s keeping up investments in energy projects while diesel consumption in China dropped for a fourth consecutive month, signaling an industrial slowdown. And thanks to the near record correlation between equities and oil, global stocks and US equity index futures initially rose only to slide following the Saudi comments.
The World Economic Forum in Davos is submerged by a tsunami of denials, and even non-denial denials, stating there won’t be a follow-up to the Crash of 2008. Yet there will be. And the stage is already set for it.
With Chesapeake Energy hitting its lowest stock price since 2000 earlier this week, it was only a matter of time before US gas giant Chesapeake halted all "discretionary" cash payments, which it did moments ago when it announced it would halt dividend payments on its preferred stock.
"There is hope of more stimulus in March and potential for even more stimulus in Japan and China, so if we get concrete positive economic news the rebound could last into next week,” said John Plassard, senior equity- sales trader at Mirabaud Securities. “I told my clients to fasten their seatbelts and wait for better news, and this is finally happening."... "The turnaround in sentiment came amid signs central banks may be prepared to act after $7.8 trillion was erased from the value of global equities this year on China’s slowdown and oil’s crash."
- Global Stocks Face Fresh Losses (WSJ)
- European stocks lick wounds after mauling, oil steady (Reuters)
- Hang Seng Index Sinks Below Net Assets for First Time Since 1998 (BBG)
- U.S. Hedge Funds Boast Lower Losses as Markets Tumble Further (NYT)
- Deutsche Bank Drops as Investment Bank Revenue Concerns Mount (BBG)
- Islamic State Uses Syria’s Biggest Dam as Refuge and Potential Weapon (WSJ)